IN what turned out to be an eventful day, Gibraltar and Scotland – in some ways an unlikely pair, but not in their rejection of Brexit – were invited to address the European Parliament on January 30.
Both parties explained their views and wishes on Brexit to the Committee of Constitutional Affairs which became something of a ‘shooting gallery’ as Spanish MEPs took pot shots at Chief Minister Fabian Picardo during a question and answer session which followed the presentation.
In essence both Mr Picardo and MSP Fiona Hyslop explained the historical background to the referendum result and the fact that voters in both areas had overwhelmingly rejected the concept of leaving the European Union and how they hoped to see fairness and compassion from the member states, which would take into account the wishes of the people they represented.
True to expectation, the Spanish contingent took the opportunity to complain about Gibraltar’s position and to make it clear that in their minds, the only way forward was either Gibraltar out of the EU with the UK or in the EU with Spanish dual sovereignty.
Their vehemence was in contrast to placatory comments made by Spanish Foreign Minister Dastis a few days earlier when he said that Spain would not put Gibraltar at the centre of negotiations over Brexit.
Mr Picardo ‘rolled with the punches’ and suggested that Spain should not only look to the future but those MEPs who were attacking Gibraltar should take the trouble to visit and see the Rock for themselves under a British flag as they would never see it under a Spanish flag.